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Mark Malkoff Skypes with Skypes with People in 160+ Countries [Video]

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Skype turned ten this year, and to celebrate, one of our favorite speakers, Mark Malkoff, used Skype to talk to people in 162 countries from around the world. He “high-fived” a girl from the Bahamas. He got yelled at by a a guy in Indonesia for accidentally calling at 2 AM. He even talked to a tour guide in North Korea who was at a football (soccer) match in Kim Il-Sung Stadium.

What I like about this project is that it is a reminder just how small the world is and how new media platforms like Skype are changing world. And I love what Mark had to say about the project: “Though the world is separated by geography and cultural differences, this project illustrates that smiles and love are universal.”

9 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Video Podcasting

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Video Podcasting

Lots of people are blogging. More and more people are podcasting. But video? There are still relatively few people consistently producing quality video content. If you’re already a podcaster or thinking about starting a podcast, consider a video element. Video podcasting isn’t much different from audio podcasting, and adding this visual element can open you to a world of new listeners.

We covered video podcasting in the past on this blog after Perry Lawrence presented a session on this topic at one of our past events. But for even more knowledge, check out what the brilliant bloggers (and podcasters) below have to say about video podcasting.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

ryan matthew Five Tips for Professional Video Podcasting by Ryan Matthew Pierson

I like this post because it is a great overview of video podcasting for beginners, and also includes some tips for more experienced podcasters.

He writes, “After seeing several professional YouTube talents hit the big time, you may have considered creating your own video podcast (or vlog) in an effort to stake your own claim in the world of Internet television. You may have a brilliant concept and have tried your hand at shooting video and editing. You’re pretty set, right?” Ryan then goes on to cover tips you may not have previously considered, such has working with a co-host and hiring an editor.

Check out the post, then don’t forget to follow Ryan on Twitter at @FrugalGeek.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about video podcasting? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Writing Persuasive Content

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

How to Promote Your Web Series with a Blog

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promote your web series

Looking for new ways to promote your web series? A blog is one of your best options. Businesses use blogs as part of a larger content marketing strategy. This means that the blog itself doesn’t make money, but it brings traffic to a website so people become aware of what you’re promoting. There’s no reason you can’t do this for your web series.

Blogs are great for promotion because:

  1. They’re very inexpensive to start and maintain.
  2. Google and other search engines love regularly-updated blogs.
  3. Some of your fans may prefer subscribing to your blog over following your social accounts.

So once you’ve decided that it’s time to start a blog…how do you do it? And how do you make a blog manageable for you and your team? Here are a few tips:

Tip #1: Decide quickly what kind of content you want to have on your blog.

Your blog should be more than just posts containing embedded videos every time a new episode comes out. You can certainly to that, but your blog should have other posts as well. Here are some of the things you might want to consider having on your web series’ blog:

  • Pictures and backstage stories about your filming
  • Special content (like bloopers)
  • Interviews with the cast
  • Educational information about how to film a web series
  • Journal-like posts written by your chracters
  • Announcements (news about your web series, contests, etc.)
  • Transcripts of your show

Not every blog has to have all of these things. From the start, decide what you want to share on your blog and create a content schedule so you know when the blog is getting updated.

Tip #2: Have a plan for management.

If you’re on a shoestring budget, you might not have the cash on hand to pay a blogger to manage your blog. That’s okay. You and your team can run the blog if you work together, even if you are beginners. The key is to have a plan for updating the blog. Who will be in charge of writing posts? Who will be in change of updating posts when you have a new episode coming out? Who will be in charge of promoting the posts with your social accounts? Who will be in charge of responding to comments? Who will be in charge of back-end work, like updating your platform or installing new plugins?

The best choice is typically to spread the work across several people. Hold everyone accountable so each task gets done on time and the blog runs like clockwork. If you work as a team, it doesn’t add much work per week to your schedule.

Tip #3: Use your blog to connect with fans.

You probably already hear from fans directly on your videos, but on your blog you have a little more control of the conversation. It’s a great place to connect with your biggest fans through comments, and you can even consider starting a forum to go along with your blog. You blog is also a great place to poll your community to get their opinion.

Don’t start a blog if you aren’t going to update it regularly. No blog is better than a dead blog. But if you’re looking for new avenues of promoting your web series, definitely consider this option. It’s inexpensive and, with a little work, can be extremely effective for building buzz about your show.

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Vine

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Vine

Vine is the hottest new kid on the block, and although people are still a little tentative about using anything that involved video, this is really helping to introduce a new medium to people in the least intimidating way possible. The thought of creating a 10-minute video is terrifying to a lot of people. A 6-second video? Well, that’s not so bad.

Using Vine can be fun, but it can also be a promotional tool for your brand or content. So this week’s Brilliant Bloggers is filled with advice on making the most of this new platform.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

craig fifield Vine App: The Ultimate Guide to More Likes and Followers by Craig Fifield

Vine is still pretty new, so if you haven’t checked out this platform yet, don’t worry: you aren’t alone. That’s why I love this post from Craig Fifield at Social Media Today. It’s everything you need to know to get started plus lots of tips for users of all experience levels. This is an especially helpful post if you are using (or thinking about using) Vine for your small business, your blog, or something else you’re trying to promote, rather than just for fun.

After you check it out on the post, you can also follow Craig on Twitter at @craigfifield.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Vine? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Writing Viral Posts

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

How to Track Conversions from YouTube Viewers [Video]

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YouTube Partners can now link out to other sites within their video annotations, which can be a great way to drive new readers to a blog, ecommerce site, landing page, etc. You can also, of course, add links to your description and channel page. Very few people are creating video content consistently, so you have the opportunity to really stand out in your niche if you create videos.

But traffic (from YouTube or otherwise) is nothing if that traffic doesn’t convert. Once someone comes to your website, are they actually performing the action that you want them to perform? Are they buying your product? Or signing up for your mailing list?

In this video, Ileane Smith walks you through exactly how to set up a Google Analytics goal and track conversions. If you’re new to Google Analytics, don’t worry; she really breaks it down so you can easily understand how to track conversions. Check it out:

I loves the goals feature for Google Analytics for conversion tracking, because it helps me understand the best source of traffic according to my goal. Sometimes, raw numbers don’t tell the entire story.

Have you set up goals to track conversions?

How Video Bloggers Can Use Flow: 5 Questions to Ask to Improve Your Vlogging Skills

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Gideon Shalwick is one of my favorite video bloggers, and in this video, he talks about using “flow” to be a better video blogger. This is actually a skill you can apply to almost anything in life. Flow is what you might call “getting in the zone” and it helps you master a skill even when you’re starting with zero knowledge.

Here’s how Gideon suggests you use flow to improve your vlogging skills:

It boils down to asking yourself the following five questions:

  1. Why are you video blogging?
  2. What clear goals do you have have as a video blogger?
  3. What information do I need to reach my goal and where can I get it?
  4. What easy actions can I take to get a result that works toward my goal?
  5. Based on my results, how do I need to improve?

Again, although Gideon applies these tips to video blogging (and skateboarding) in his video lesson, you can use this same process to improve at just about anything! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

The Only Four Things Your Really Need to Start Video Podcasting

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At NMX 2013, Perry Lawrence gave a great presentation on how to get started video podcasting. When you break it down, there are only four things you really need to begin:

  1. An Idea
  2. The Desire
  3. A Budget
  4. Discipline

Let’s take a close look at these four necessities to help you on the road to video podcasting.

An Idea

Every business online starts with a good idea. Your idea needs to be something you feel passionate about, especially if you’re creating a weekly podcast, but it also needs to be an idea that has the opportunity for a community.

In other words, pick a niche. You don’t want to go too broad, as it will be extremely hard to compete with established names if your podcast is simply about all things tech, for example, but you also don’t want to go too narrow, since it will be hard to find an audience that way.

Along with choosing the topic matter, your idea also should include a way to present that topic matter in a fresh way. Will your podcast present the news in a humorous way? Will your podcast feature new guests every week to talk about the topic? Will your podcast be politically slanted? Think outside the box and try to come up with an idea for your podcast that your target audience can’t get elsewhere.

The Desire

Do you really want to start a video podcast? No, really. Ask yourself this question. Because video podcasting takes both time and money. Don’t do it because you think you have to.

And don’t do it because you think it will make you money. Any video series or podcast can make you money, but this isn’t going to happen right away, and the time you put into it is likely going to far exceed the time you should be putting into it based on your income. Do if for the love first, the money second.

A Budget

You don’t need a million-dollar budget, but you do need a budget. If your budget means recording videos on your iPhone from your home office, that’s okay. If it means getting the latest and best video equipment money can buy and converting your guest bedroom into a studio, that’s okay too. But you need to set a budget and stick to it.

Video podcasting isn’t cheap. You need mics, cameras, editing software, and more. If you plan to podcast at events, you’ll need a kit for the road, and you may also want to invest invest in professional lighting, new clothing, backdrops, and other things that will make you look good on camera.

Don’t forget a budget for travel, hosting, and other miscellaneous costs.

The bigger your budget, obviously, the better the final product will be. However, don’t let finances keep you from getting started. Like I said, you can get started simply shooting with an iPhone and doing most of the work yourself.

Discipline

Lastly, you need discipline. Don’t start video podcasting unless you can commit to recording every single week for at least three months. You also need to set aside time for editing, uploading, and promoting.

If you aren’t consistent, your audience won’t be consistent either. Doing this for fun? Have at it! Post once a month or even just once a year in that case. But if you actually want to build a following and maybe even make a little money at this, you have to have the discipline to podcast regularly and release new episodes on a regular basis.

Perry’s session at NMX 2013 of course covered many other tips on getting started video podcasting, including what kind of equipment to buy, how to set up shots for the best lighting, what to shoot, and what editing and distribution tools you’ll need. For more information or to get access to Perry’s session, check out NMX University today!

Top Advice for Video Creators from IAWTV Award Winners

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IAWTV sponsored an awesome video track at NMX 2013, and after the conference, they also hosted an awards ceremony for web TV content creators. NMX sponsor .tv got a chance to work the red carpet, interviewing some of the nominees and winners.

But in this case, the question wasn’t “Who are you wearing?” Instead, correspondent Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff asked these top content creators to share their very best tips for up-and-coming video creators. Check out what pros like Kristyn Burtt, Grace Helbig, Goldie Chen, Chris Hardwick, and Tim Street had to say:

Many winners and nominees at the IAWTV awards were actually speakers at NXM 2013. Want to see their presentations? You can get all of the conference recordings as a premium member of NMX University with our 2013 Virtual Ticket. Learn how to sign up here.

Occupy Conan: A New Level of Community Interaction for Television or a Lame Stunt?

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When we talk about video and new media, we’re usually talking about web series. But I think we would be wrong to ignore the ways traditional television shows and networks are also finding new and interesting ways to connect with their online audiences.

So, last night when I was channel surfing and happened upon the very beginning of Conan, I knew I had to blog about their “Occupy Conan” show today.

For “Occupy Conan,” the producers posted an entire episode of the show online and asked users to submit videos of their favorite parts, being as creative as possible. They then stitched together the video submissions in small blips to recreate the entire episode. Submissions included clay-mation, live action with green screens, puppets, videos from celebrities like Tina Fey and Joel McHale, and even an homage to Stick Stickly. At some parts, they showed the real show in a split-screen action, but most of the time they simply showed the user submissions.

Through the entire episode, Conan himself was live-blogging from the duel-screen app, available for download on his website.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this show:

The Good

  • This was an amazing idea to build community by making them part of the content creation process.

As many online content creators know, video is hard. Although many fell into the so-bad-they-are-good, some of the submissions were amazing in terms of quality. When someone spends that much time creating content for you, it really solidifies their fandom. Even people who didn’t create videos get the warm fuzzy feeling because the submissions are from “us” – the Team Coco community.

  • It encouraged people to watch the entire show.

If you were one of the people who submitted a video, you definitely watched the entire show to see if clips of yours were used. However, I certainly didn’t submit a video, but I still watched the entire show. Why? Several of the clips were really goofy. I wanted to see what they’d show next!

  • Pattern interrupts are good.

“Occupy Conan” was really different. I’m usually a “sometimes I catch it while flipping” Conan viewer, but this was so weird that I had to watch. Late shows are all pretty similar, so even though an entirely fan-created show was definitely a risky idea, doing something different is a breath of fresh air.

  • It was great promotion for their social sync app.

I bet a lot of new people checked out the duel screen app in order to see what Conan was live blogging. After every commercial break, he had a short clip promoting the app and talking about what they were doing.

  • If they do it again, it will likely be even better.

Now that people have seen one, I bet the next time, people will create even cooler stuff to submit. It’s a contest of sorts, since there’s only so much airtime and they can’t show everything. The bar has been set.

  • The episode is sure to get press attention.

Whenever you do something weird, you get attention from the press. I’m sure Conan will be heavily discussed over the next few days, and whether people liked the show or hated it, starting a conversation online, especially where people can debate, is definitely a major way to promote your show while spending no advertising dollars.

  • They used social media to keep the experience live.

Not only did Conan live blog the episode, but they also took the conversation to social media. The episode had its own hashtag, which was mentioned several times, giving fans a way to interact on Twitter. Creating an episode-specific or even just show-specific hashtag is something I think more shows need to be doing. Chris Hardwick announces a hashtag during each episode of The Talking Dead, for example, and it is a great way for fans to interact with one another.

The Bad

  • They didn’t receive that many submissions.

At the start of the show, they said they received “hundreds” of submissions. Now, to you or I, getting hundreds of video submissions might seem amazing, but Conan averaged 1.1 million viewers per episode in 2012, according to Nielson. That’s a huge community, so to receive only “hundreds” of submissions makes me think that that they didn’t advertise enough, didn’t give people much time, didn’t explain the directions well enough, or had some other problems. They should have gotten thousands, not hundreds.

  • This isn’t something they can do often.

It was a good idea, but it’s not something they can do every week. Once a year, if ratings were good enough, is pretty much as often as they can do something like this without it losing its appeal. So, although an interesting idea, it’s not one with a lot of mileage.

  • This was likely an expensive episode for TBS.

One of the appeals of late night talk shows is that they are relatively inexpensive to produce. Sure, you have to pay the host, but the set doesn’t change from week to week, and guests are there to promote stuff, not get paid. This show, however, undoubtedly took a long time to create because people had to sort through submissions and edit them together. Time is money, so I’m sure this wasn’t a cheap endeavor.

  • They missed an opportunity to credit fans.

As far as I know, there were no prizes for people whose clips were used. However, they missed an amazing opportunity to give a little prize of credit and encourage even more social media action. With each clip, they could have put the creator’s Twitter handle somewhere small on screen so that people could Tweet at and follow their favorites.

The Ugly

  • There were butts.

Not every submission was a winner, and I’m sad they showed that one. If you saw the episode, you know which one I mean. Talk about ugly.

My final verdict is that this was a great idea, despite having some problems. Did you see the show? What did you think of it? What would you add to my good/bad/ugly list? Was it great strategy for competing with web TV or a silly publicity stunt? What have you seen other shows doing to be more interactive? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Image Credit: John J. Kruzel/American Forces Press Service

Quick and Dirty Video Production

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From writing a script to lighting and sound, recording with the built-in webcam on your laptop, editing, production and post-production with Apple’s iMovie, award-winning speaker Dave Taylor demonstrated every step needed to create your first YouTube-ready video during his session at NMX 2013. We had the pleasure of seeing Dave’s workshop yesterday at NMX. Here are some of the highlights from his talk:

  • “You don’t need to invest yet to get started.”

iMovie comes preloaded for free on Mac computers and Dave fully explained how to use this free software for all it’s worth. From tips about shooting footage to best import options and title and transition tips, Dave explained all the options and best practices for creating a quality video. He then went on to put together a video in front on the attendees, demonstrating exactly how to implement the topics he covered.

  • “There is nothing that you can come up with that can’t become interesting.”

Anything, even the most mundane topics can become an interesting video. The key is presenting it in a fun, engaging way. Make a story out of a seemingly uninteresting topic to capture viewers’ attention.

Dave also shared many easy tips about recording and editing throughout the entire session, including:

  • “Really focus on looking at the camera, not the screen.”
  • “Shorter is better than longer.”
  • “Do something engaging.”

Did you know we have tons of bonus content from the show being uploaded everyday? Head over to NMX University to see videos, livestreamed keynotes and more.

About Dave:

Dave’s been online for over thirty years, during which time he’s founded four startups, published twenty books, and earned both an MS Education and MBA. He currently writes for a wide variety of online publications and produces how-to and marketing videos for a variety of clients, including Intel, Kingston and TrackVia. Find him online at DaveTaylorOnline.com

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